International Mammalian Genome Society

logo18th International Mouse Genome Conference

17-22 October 2004, Seattle, USA



4.00pm – 4.30pm

Functional Genome Analysis

O’Brien TP

The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, United States

Understanding the functional content of the mammalian genome is a major goal of the mouse genetics community. Numerous computational and experimental approaches are being used to understand gene activity and network level interactions. One approach, random mutagenesis, has long served the efforts of the geneticist to build the link between genomics and biology. Mutagenized genomes harboring chemically induced base-pair changes represent a rich source of novel genetic variation and can now be produced using either whole-animals or ES cells. This variation can be tapped using direct sequencing or phenotype-based screens. Phenotypic screens can be designed to survey the entire genome, a defined chromosomal region or sensitized to identify environmental or genetic interactions. One desirable feature of such screens is to isolate mutations as efficiently as possible. Toward this end, genetic schemes often use chromosomal aberrations and markers to facilitate the recovery of mutations. A growing collection of reagents, such as chromosomal deletions and inversions along with coat color and GFP-based chromosomal tags, permits the design of a variety of increasingly efficient genetic screens. These chromosomal reagents as well as ES cell-based and direct sequencing methods open new opportunities for using random mutagenesis to generate allelic series, construct genetic interaction networks, and build regional views to understand the functional genomic landscape.

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